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Cenote Kalimba closed after deaths of two German divers

Tulum, Q.R. — Officers from Protección Civil Tulum have closed the cenote where two German men drowned Wednesday.

After the bodies were recovered by a dive rescue team, Civil Protection proceeded to close Cenote Kalimba for operating without permits.

Civil Protection head, Lucio Salvador Arguea, explained that the owner of the cenote, Armando García Hernández, does not have the permits or the security conditions for his operation which resulted in fatal consequences.

“Cenote Kalimba operated illegally. The owner did not have registration or operating permits from city council. As background, in 2014 the death of a swimmer occurred, therefore it was closed and sanctioned,” he said.

Photos: Protección Civil Tulum

An investigation has begun against the owners and into the deaths of the divers who, Salvador Arguea says, were found 1,200 meters from the entrance. He added that there will be severe punishment against those who operate illegally and violate the Regulation of Cenotes and Caverns laws.

“President Víctor Mas has told us that security is paramount. He is worried because he does not want more improvisations and situations that put people at risk. We have implemented actions with specialized and certified personnel to avoid putting swimmers and divers at risk,” he said.

He said the cenote will remain closed until the Attorney General of the State issues the results of the investigations and the owner pays a fine, establishes the necessary safety conditions and properly registers Cenote Kalimba.

Both men had arrived at the cenote from Playa del Carmen to explore the underground river system. On Wednesday afternoon, a dive rescue team was sent to into the river system to look for the bodies of the two German when when they failed to surface on time.